Terri Miller, a former treasurer for Palm Beach Gardens High School, was arrested on Thursday, May 12 for allegedly defrauding $7,276.31 from the school. Miller, 55, was booked into Palm Beach County in lieu of $3000 bond. She was released the next day after posting bail. News sources did not specify an attorney for Miller.
According to the arrest report, the principal of Palm Beach Gardens High School, Larry Clawson, noticed that the school’s Costco and Sam’s Club credit cards were used to pay for what appeared to be personal items in February last year. The items bought included things like deodorant, gas, shaving cream, toothpaste, steak, and shrimp. The purchases went as far back as 2010 and by 2015, they amounted to over $7,000 in funds. These funds were earmarked for school programs, sources indicate.
The principal reportedly suspected Miller, who left the school last year and has served as president of the Association of Educational Secretaries and Office Professionals union. Clawson claims to have asked Miller about the unusual expenses in the credit card bills, and he says Miller purportedly told him that she thought she could pay for the items with a personal check. The arrest report states that Clawson made Miller sign a document stating that she won’t use the school’s credit cards for personal expenses again.
According to investigators, Miller allegedly did not cease to make purchases using the cards. She also only paid off a small portion of the monthly balance, which racked up interest fees for the school accounts, sources say. She also purportedly overbilled the accounts to help pay off the accrued balance.
Palm Beach County school district superintendent Robert M. Avossa told news sources that the school district “expects its employees to be responsible stewards of public money.” He further stated that anyone who misuses taxpayer funds will be held accountable and could face criminal charges for their actions. The school district has published a news release stating that the District’s Office of Professional Standards is conducting a separate investigation on the matter.
Source: 5.13.16 Miller Fraud.pdf